Sunday, December 14, 2008

Decompression Causes the Bends

Yes, you gave two concrete actions that work for you in the creation of the FABLES comics and collections.

1) Try to end an issue on a dramatic point.

2) Don't worry about the length of the trade, meaning the number of issues collected.

Those work for you and seem to work well for that project because you control the direction of the series. I was interested in your thoughts about plot and pacing and their importance to the shape of the final project as it relates to some of the comics projects you have worked on.

FABLES is the result of a bottom up approach to making comics where you wrote the original pitch and as a creator control the kind of stories told between the covers. FABLES is full of stand alone characters existing in their own space. Once upon a time, you and I pitched a mini-series aimed at the DCU about that VETERAN character you created when you were writing ROBIN. Recently, the clockwork guys pitched a HOUSE OF SECRETS mini-series for VERTIGO that was pretty great. Neither of these proposed projects got enough traction to get down the road. These bottom up projects require a lot of time selling to your first audience, the editor.

By comparison, there are top down projects that get assigned to writers as a part of a crossover or from a desire to tinker with fictional universes. From what I remember, the DAY OF VENGEANCE mini-series was proposed to make space for a reboot of the magic characters in the DC Universe. Again my memory may zig when it should zag, but when you get a project like this, you get Point A and have to get to Point B with a few beats getting hit along the six-issue way. Those projects require no selling because the editor is already onboard. It starts in their office.

Does the fact that the editor takes some of the responsibility for the plot make those kind of projects easier or harder to write?

1 comment:

  1. Catching up on my CWSB reading, and I had a question about pacing in comic books. You say you struggle with this, so in a future post can you reveal some of the tricks of the trade you've picked up, especially for superhero comics? Are there mistakes with pacing that you've seen new writers make?